Japanese Modern Ceramic Water Jar

Tea Ceremony Water Jar (Mizusashi) with Rabbits and Dragon



Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 5-0” dia. x 5-3/4”h

The Mizusashi is the largest utensil of the Japanese tea ceremony; it contains the freshwater used to prepare the tea and to wash the tea-bowl, and supportive utensils. In the tea room, the emphasis is on the interaction between the host, guests, and tea utensils. For the Chanoyu ceremony, the host will choose an assemblage of objects specific to that gathering of guests. Each tea gathering is a unique experience, so a particular assemblage of objects and people is never repeated.

This Mizusashi is designed with deep relief carving of two Rabbits, clouds, and moon on a dark brown glaze. On the back of the piece is the carving of a dragon, again surrounded by clouds. It has its original lid with a handle, perfectly complementing the set. This water jar represents an ideal statement celebrating the Year of the Rabbit and the Year of the Dragon honoring the occasion of this joining of two personalities. The patronage of tea wares is one way in which the Japanese tea scholar embraced cultural traditions and forms. Not only were rustic ceramics such as this water jar intensely coveted and carefully guarded, but most of the wares were also signed by the craftsman. This piece is signed in Kanji on the bottom and reads Kojima, but unconfirmed.

The Story behind the Motif: This Mizusashi was made specifically for a wedding couple whose signs are the Rabbit and the Dragon, which may seem like opposites, but in nature, they can add plenty to one another’s lives. Related to their life in the home the Dragon is a fiery, shining character whose strength of personality can overcome less timid signs than the Rabbit. The Rabbit possesses great powers of compassion and perception and can understand the truth of the Dragon’s heart better than could most other Signs.

As an intimate couple, these two can create a close, loving connection. The Rabbit needs plenty of support from friends and family in order to maintain emotional equilibrium; the Dragon will be happy to serve as the Rabbit’s protector and a source of strength. In return, the Rabbit will offer the Dragon its own form of protection — understanding and sweet affection — both of which the Dragon will treasure. 

As business partners, these two can make a good team, as long as they are certain to keep solid footing on the ground. The Dragon, again, is better at handling practical tasks than the Rabbit, but both signs represent creative thinkers; together their ideas might just escalate into the realms of impossibility.

Rabbit (usage) — Born 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915. 

Dragon (ryuu)— Born 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916. 

Vintage Condition: Excellent and as originally made with no chips or missing elements, repairs, or crazing. “As is” and retains the original craft/workmanship. Any discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear, or structural damage is noted. 

NOTE: Chanoyu, or The Way of Tea — According to Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591), the greatest tea master of Japan, Chanoyu, (or "the way of tea”), is nothing more than boiling water and drinking it. The cult of tea stresses simplicity, self-control, and restraint, and embodies moral, an ethical, and aesthetic values. Ironically, this ceremony influenced appreciation for the lowest, the poorest, and the broken is a sophisticated and intellectual approach that separated the connoisseur from the layman.